Storyteller or Writer?
I’ve been querying agents, and the responses I’ve received indicate that my novel-writing isn’t up to par. I understand that — I have a full-time career and I’m not a writer by trade. But I’m a storyteller and want to share my stories with others. So…I began wondering if there is another way I could get into the industry, and I thought maybe I could collaborate with a successful author who liked my story and could help me improve it. I know a couple of successful authors, and my wild idea was to approach one of them and see if they had an interest in co-authoring with me. What do you think?
Working with a collaborator is a good idea for non-fiction authors, but not so much for novelists. It sounds like you have ideas and you’re a storyteller but you haven’t developed your writing craft. Unfortunately, the old adage is true – ideas are a dime a dozen. In themselves, ideas have no value. The value is in the way a writer is able to capture those ideas using the written word, whether it’s fiction or nonfiction.
Conseqently, a talented novelist wouldn’t need your ideas — they have their own — and would be unlikely to want to co-author in that way. So rather than look for a collaborator, you should probably consider a writing coach and/or editor.
I recommend you set yourself on a path to learn to write fiction over the next few months and years, and develop your own stories to sell, whether self-publishing or to a traditional publisher. Use a critique partner or group; a writing coach; and/or an editor. You should also go to a conference or two and take writing workshops, and read books on fiction crafting.
Of course, you could share your stories via self-publishing without doing the work of improving your craft, if it doesn’t matter to you how many people buy them or how people respond to them.
A third option would be to realize that your gifts lie in other areas besides writing, and be happy with that.
I suppose there are other paths, but this is how I see it.
Q4U: Do you have any advice for Storyteller? Or maybe you’ve been in this situation yourself? Tell us about it.